Three Canadians including NF André Bertram receive $100,000 Thiel Fellowships

Jun 25, 2018

Many entrepreneurs go through the traditional route of attending university before they found companies and learn to scale—but one initiative strays away from that typical model.

The Thiel Fellowship gives $100,000 USD—spread over two years—to young people who want to create things instead of sitting in classrooms, and 2018’s recipients include three Canadians among the overall 20 selected.

The idea for the fellowship is to offer entrepreneurs an unconventional way to grow and scale a startup. Other recipients largely hail from the U.S. with a few from other countries such as the U.K., Sweden, and India.

Shak Lakhani from Richmond Hill was recognized for his biotech startup Avro Life Science that develops skin patches to help deliver generic drugs. The method allows for medicines to work faster and have a longer-lasting effect.

Kimberlie Le, with roots in both Edmonton and San Francisco, started the foodtech company Terramino Foods. It uses fungi-based proteins to replicate the taste and texture of seafood and meat, creating a sustainable model for food in the future.

André Bertram hails from Toronto and started HelpWear, a medtech company that creates clinical-grade ECG monitor that can be worn at home 24/7 to track the electrical activity in the heart.

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